Geography: Size is 752,614 sq km , slightly larger than Texas, US. Zambia has a tropical climate which is modified by altitude. There's one rainy season which lasts from October to April. Zambia's terrain is mostly high plateau with some hills and mountains. Its lowest point is the Zambezi river at 329 m and its highest point is an unnamed location in Mafinga Hills standing at 2,301 m. Zambia is a landlocked country with the Zambezi river forming a natural boundary with Zimbabwe.
Zambia has moved from being a major copper producer and potentially one of the continent's richest countries at independence in 1964 to one of the world's poorest.
A colonial legacy, mismanagement, debt and disease are said to have contributed to the country's tribulations.
Zambia is landlocked and sparsely populated by more than 70 ethnic groups, many of them Bantu-speaking. It has some spectacular scenery, including the Victoria Falls along the Zambezi river, the Bangweulu Swamps and the Luangwa river valley. In the late 1960s it was the third largest copper miner, after the US and the Soviet Union. World copper prices collapsed in 1975 with devastating effects on the economy.
The World Bank has urged Zambia to develop other sources of revenue - including tourism and agriculture. Even so, copper accounts for most of Zambia's foreign earnings and there is optimism about the future of the industry, which was privatised in the 1990s. Electronics manufacturers have fuelled demand and investment in mines has grown.
Aids is blamed for decimating the cream of Zambian professionals - including engineers and politicians - and malaria is a major problem. Millions of Zambians live below the World Bank poverty threshold of $1 a day.
Zambia hosts tens of thousands of refugees who have fled fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Population: Just over 11 million people live in Zambia. Life expectancy is around 39 years. Birth rate is on average 5.47 per woman. 16.5% of the population is believed to have HIV/AIDS, although many claim that it is closer to 35%. Literacy rate is at 80%.
Languages: English (official); major vernaculars include Bemba, Kaonda, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanja, Tonga, and about 70 other indigenous languages.
Ethnic Groups: African 98.7% (major tribes - Bemba, Kaonda, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanja, Tonga, Chewa), European 1.1%, and other 0.2%.
Religion: Christian 50%-75%, Muslim and Hindu 24%-49%, indigenous beliefs 1%.
Tropical climate; modified by altitude. The rainy season is normally between the months of October to April.
It is mostly high plateau with some hills and mountains. The lowest point are the Zambezi river 329 m and highest point the unnamed location in Mafinga Hills 2,301 m above sea level.
These are copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, coal, emeralds, gold, silver, uranium, and hydropower
Arable land: 7.08% permanent crops: 0.03% other: 92.9% (2001)
460 sq km (1998 est.) irrigated land. Currently this is improving as more commercial farming is beginning mostly in the central province of Zambia.
Periodic drought and tropical storms between November and April.
Environmental current issues
These are air pollution and resulting acid rain in the mineral extraction and refining region; chemical runoff into watersheds; poaching seriously threatens rhinoceros, elephant, antelope, and large cat populations; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; lack of adequate water treatment presents human health risks.
The infant mortality rate. (Year 2005 estimate.)
Total: 88.29 deaths/1,000 live births
The total population is: 39.7 years
Total fertility rate
5.47 children born/woman